BEST CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS TO POKE YOUR HEAD INTO Phoenix 2007 - Empire Southwest
What? Heavy machinery as art? In a building off the 60, in Mesa? Trust us. Empire's HQ is way cool, using construction-related materials from copper ore rock mulch (trucked in from a client's mine) to "sheep's foot compactor drums," placed sideways on stone pillars to mimic Stonehenge. From the salvaged bulldozer stabilizer arms (now supporting a garden awning) to the antique bulldozer (now under glass, beneath the floor of the conference room), it all sounds like too much, but it works, somehow, particularly when you enter the concrete-hued (with a touch of Caterpillar yellow) lobby and check out the history on display. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was metropolitan Phoenix and the Whiteman family, owner of Empire, has had a lot to do with the latter. It was gracious of them (and not surprising they're wonderful philanthropists) to create such an intriguing monument to their industry and to the Valley.